Home/Biography, Culture, Photography/Paul’s Records: How a refugee from the Vietnam War found success selling vinyl on the streets of Hong Kong

Paul’s Records: How a refugee from the Vietnam War found success selling vinyl on the streets of Hong Kong

$15.95

 

As a youth in Saigon’s Chinatown of the 1960s and ’70s, Paul Au was greatly affected by American “hippie” culture and Rock and Roll. He was smuggled into Hong Kong in 1974 to escape the South Vietnamese military draft.

At first living in rooftop squats, he started to trade used vinyl records on the streets of Sham Shui Po, and finally established an underground reputation for his eclectic blend and unending supply of recorded music.

This full-colour book uses sample records and sleeve art to depict the evolution of popular music in Hong Kong since the 1970s, and describes the down-to-earth part of Kowloon, with its walk-up buildings and street markets, that Paul Au has become synonymous with.

Paul’s Records solidifies Andrew Guthrie’s status as the most perceptive, and astute, observer of the lingering appeal of recording and cassette culture in post-colonial Hong Kong.” – Giorgio Biancorosso, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong

Paul’s Records is a gift to Hong Kong and to anyone who wants to know more about the unique worlds that thrive in its crowded spaces.” – Greg Girard, author of City of Darkness: Life In Kowloon Walled City

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SKU: 978-988-13764-3-5 Categories: , , Tags: ,

Description

As a youth in Saigon’s Chinatown of the 1960s and ’70s, Paul Au was greatly affected by American “hippie” culture and Rock and Roll. He was smuggled into Hong Kong in 1974 to escape the South Vietnamese military draft. At first living in rooftop squats, he started to trade used vinyl records on the streets of Kowloon, and finally established an underground reputation for his eclectic blend and unending supply of recorded music.

Media attention
“I am glad whenever I can find a book to lighten the burden of my Hong Kong ignorance, and Andrew Guthrie’s tiny book about Sham Shui Po’s vinyl fanatic Paul Au Tak Shing and his record store Paul’s Records does a splendid job in this regard. It combines local and regional history, rock biography, pop archaeology, 70s nostalgia and vinyl fan talk to give a vivid and surprisingly profound picture of Hong Kong’s development over the last forty years.
… Guthrie’s book succeeds in offering a meaningful description of Hong Kong history, attitudes and politics from the time of Paul’s arrival to the present day. Even more remarkable is that it does so without really trying. Thus, the story of Paul’s flight to Hong Kong, for example, provides a memorable picture of the city’s place in Southeast Asia and of the complicated and widespread kinship networks which connect the different Chinese communities in Southern China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the wider world.
… Where more general histories frequently end up relating meaningless generalities which are forgotten as soon as read, the story of Paul and his store leave an imprint on the mind, much like the pressing on a piece of vinyl. I can therefore recommend this tiny, pretty book to anyone who wants to understand Hong Kong a little better. And if you are a vinyl nerd, you’ll love it anyway.” – Cha: